Iberian Food

Iberian Food

About Iberian Food

The Iberian Peninsula has a highly varied geography with a central Meseta, a vast, flat plateau, surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges and cut off from the rest of Europe by the Pyrenees. This meant that several distinct cultures co-existed on the peninsula with several unique cuisines. Since Ancient times it had been a colony of several Mediterranean cultures. The Phoenicians introduced the cultivation of olives and the Greeks brought the Malvasia grape, founding a wine industry that would become renowned in the Middle Ages. But it was the Roman Empire, of which the peninsula was the westernmost outpost, that had the biggest impact on Iberian cuisine. After the collapse of Roman rule, Visigothic invaders conquered most of the modern day Spain and Portugal in the 5th century. The Visigoths took on many Roman customs, like the focus on vegetables, and used Latin for official purposes.